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World AIDS Day: Words To Live By

Since 1988 World AIDS Day has been held on December 1st. It reminds us to continue to fight against HIV, show support for people living with HIV and commemorate people who have died.

There are, as MTV points out, some things that we all can do help prevent AIDS, and what better day to point this out than World AIDS Day:

+ Use Protection

Whatís more important than wearing red [tomorrow sic] is wearing protection tomorrow night. And every night! Condoms are the only method that protect against HIV, STDs, and pregnancy. A pack of condoms can cost more than my favorite sushi roll. BUT some places do offer them for free! Head over to your local Planned Parenthood, for example, where they will literally give you a backpack full of rubbers if you ask. Donít ask me how I know that.

+ Get Tested

According to the Center For Disease Control (CDC), more than half of young Americans with HIV donít know they have it. As it takes a while for the symptoms of the virus to show, the only way to know your status for sure is to get tested. Itís quick, painless (if youíre afraid of needles, your doctor can test your spit!), free of charge, and judgment-free. If you think you feel the nurseís eyes judging you, itís probably just you judging yourself for that sloppy Saturday night hookup. Sh*t happens...just make sure it happens with a condom on!

+ Get Educated

The only way to prevent HIV is to know how and how not to get it. There are tons of misconceptions about safe sex, like that two condoms are better than one, or that you canít get STDs if you only sleep with members of the chess club or that innocent chick from Bible study. Learn more about HIV -- the facts, the myths, and how to best protect yourself -- with MTVís Itís Your (Sex) Life.

+ Educate Others

Youíre reading this, but not everybody is as awesome as you are! Now that you know how to protect yourself, share your knowledge with your family, friends, significant others, and 2 a.m. booty calls. You can also spread the world by Tweeting #positivetalk all day.

Now if FairerScience readers are lusting after chess club or Bible study members, I suspect you are watching too much Glee and I really don't want to know. And don't call me at 2:00 am for any reason other than you need me to help in an emergency or the Noble Committee has just called with good news. But "use protection", "get tested", "educate yourself" and "educate others"-those are words to live by.